5 Changes To Education Meme

Image Source: http://www.medicalpracticetrends.com
Image Source: http://www.medicalpracticetrends.com

I have been tagged by Beth Knittle for this meme. TJ Shay began this meme with the following rules.

List FIVE changes you would like to see in the educational system.  Your responses should represent your perspective and your passion for learning and students.  If you have been tagged, tag as many people as you choose, but try for a variety.

This is the first semester in many years that I am not taking a graduate class in the evenings. I decided to take a break so that I would have more time with my family and to devote to the astonishing amount of professional development offered through the folks in my PLN via distance. Last semester, as I sat in a room without wi-fi listening to the class discussions, I found myself really feeling like I could spend my time more wisely participating in EdTechTalk events, the DEN or ISTE in Second Life or even some of the impromptu gatherings that happen via UStream or Skype. I just wanted to make sure that I was putting myself in an environment where I could learn.

One thing that stuck with me from one of my recent classes in supervision was that when you go into a school or a district as a new administrator, you should not make immediate change. You should observe and learn the culture before you can make decisions as to what would make improvements.

So, though a part of me wants to make changes in education, the other part of me knows that these things take time, and I’ll keep working towards making improvements within the districts that I have come to know the culture and populations of. The teachers that I work with know that I believe in “taking baby steps” and that things take time.

Here is my list. There are a few that are a bit more achievable, but I can dream big, right?

1.  I would like teachers to view themselves as professionals so that the portion of the population that doesn’t, that sees teachers as working from 9 to 3 and having summers off, will know how much we are devoted to our profession. There are so many devoted educators that put in countless hours to improve teaching and learning in their classroom and to make sure that they meet the needs of their students. Let this be known.

2.  I would like all educators to see the positive in each and every student. I know it’s difficult, but they are all someone’s child and they all need love, understanding and sometimes extra assistance or compassion.

3.  I would like students to play a larger role in the writing of curriculum. If we give our students more opportunities to take ownership of their education, then maybe there will be more success stories. Students need to invest in their futures as well and this is one way for them to do so.

4.  I would ask that administrators find the needs in a district before taking on an initiative to fix something. There is always more than one way to look at something. Let’s make sure we are addressing the right issues before determining what we think are the right solutions.

5.  I would like all teachers to “be teachable“. Mandated professional development is not always the way to go. Educators, and people in general have to WANT to learn in order to truly learn. I would love it if all teachers were open to trying new things, open to doing what they already do well – more, and willing to share resources. How do we accomplish this? Well, I do believe that enthusiasm is contagious…

If you are reading this post, you most likely have thought about this list of 5 things to improve in education. Perhaps you’ve even implemented changes to make these improvements. I’d be curious to know what other things you are looking to change. I therefor tag the following bloggers, but anyone is welcome to leave a comment or post the meme on their site.

Clif Mims

Chris Craft

Cheryl Oakes

Liz Davis

Bud Hunt

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7 thoughts on “5 Changes To Education Meme

  1. Lisa, you know number 5 is my favorite and I used this phrase since you posted it.

    I also think it important to that adminstrators at the district and school level value the professionial expertises of teachers and ask teachers for their imput when making decisions that will impact on teaching and learning.

  2. OK, I’m a teacher and I LOVE point one. To be honest with you, tenure has no place among true professionals. Teachers do not police their own ranks, and suffer a lack of respect for it. I have no problem with teacher unions trying to get a higher wage, that is what unions do. However, when teachers let teachers, who should not be in a classroom, hide behind tenure, the public reaction is, and rightfully should be, disgust. When administration is fettered with the chore of removing recognizably bad teachers and has to fight teachers to do so, then what does that say about who teachers really care about? Teacher unions must seize assessment from administration and use it on ourselves. No truly professional teacher can disagree with this. If we hide behind tenure then we earn the disparagement that we bring upon ourselves. If we cull our own ranks then we become true professionals. By empowering the profession we become truly powerful.

  3. Lisa,
    Got here from Kevin Jarret’s tweet. Great list! As a first year teacher, I completely agree. It is bittersweet that I was nodding my head in agreement as I read each of your “big dreams”. What I do appreciate is that they are all achievable and they all start with us. You’re not asking us to pass the buck.
    Russ

  4. @Linda – I agree – we are all valuable and thus should be a part of the conversation. Thank you for your comment.

    @Dtitle – Should we start with self-assessment? I wonder what we’re going to see in the the next four years in the way of change when it comes to tenure.

    @Chris – Thanks! I left a comment on your blog.

    @Russ – I hope that you are having a successful and rewarding first year. Thank you for your comment.

  5. Raquel Williams says:

    Lisa,

    I share the same dreams… Number 5 is so true ! As teachers we need to be open minded and understand that change and learning process should start with us and within ourselves.
    A good teacher is one that is not afraid of saying:”I don’t know” but I will find out the answer..”
    Learn, Love to learn and Live everyday seeking to Learn more…That’s should be our main goal!
    Thanks for making me wanna learn more through your amazing knowledge and passion for technology and education!
    Take care,
    Raquel Williams

    1. We are learning together, right Raquel?
      You are so right that teachers should never be afraid to admit that they don’t know the answer. It’s just another opportunity to model a great way to find it.

      Thanks so much for your comment and your support. As always, I look forward to seeing you face-to-face again!

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